Thursday, March 30, 2017
The unnamed nursery in the Reinickendorf borough of Berlin hired a male teacher earlier this month.
According to German TV channel RTL, all but one child in the nursery come from Muslim families.
During a conversation, the man casually mentioned he’s gay, but his future employer didn’t see it as a problem.
Neither do the kids, who according to newspaper Der Tagesspiegel love their new teacher – to the point where they have arguments about who’s allowed to hold his hand while walking.
But the children’s parents did, and they staged a protest even before the new teacher started work.
They learned of the news during a parents’ evening, when the nursery administrator announced they had employed a man.
That in itself was already a problem.
‘We don’t want a man accompanying our kids to the toilet,’ some of them said.
But when they learned he was gay, their reaction was even worse.
Some said they would not send their kids to nursery as long as a gay man was working with them; they also wanted to petition against his employment.
‘For some of them a homosexual is automatically a pedophile,’ the anonymous teacher told the Tagesspiegel.
Some of the families are originally from Russia, others from Romania, Turkey or other Arab countries.
‘They come from a different world,’ the nursery’s managing director said.
‘But we’re in Berlin, in the 21st century century, we can’t have something like this.’
This is not a Muslim-only problem.
But the parents’ protest had a very different result than what they hoped for.
Instead of firing her new employee, the managing director kicked out the offended parents. Their children now have to visit another nursery.
Politicians also extended their support, with the Berlin Senate saying they ‘do not accept discrimination’.
‘We want to increase the number of male teachers in nurseries, because they are important role models for the children,’ said the Senator for Family Matters, Sandra Scheeres.
And despite the protests, parents are on the new teacher’s side, too.
‘Many parents were shocked when they heard of the protests,’ he said.
‘They have my back, and so do the teachers.’
Still, he feels pressured, because parents are watching whether he’s touching their kids in the right way.
Although that, he told the Tagesspiegel, is more because he’s a man and not because he is gay.
In the 2015 Queer Germany survey one in five people said they opposed the idea of a gay man caring for small children.
For lesbians, it was one in seven.
The nursery manager stated this was not a Muslim only problem, but all the complaints except one came from Muslim parents?
Religion of peace, kiss my ass, liberals get your head out of your collective asses, Islam is no more our friend than fundamentalist Christianity.
Might I also say how laughable it is for the German Senate to condemn discrimination in others while it completely ignores the equality of it's gay citizens?
Pot meet kettle.
Lawmakers in North Carolina could vote as early as Thursday on a compromise bill that repeals House Bill 2.
According to The Charlotte Observer, the deal was announced late Wednesday night.
Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, who campaigned on a promise to repeal the legislation, said in a statement that he supports the compromise.
“I support the House Bill 2 repeal compromise that will be introduced tomorrow,” Cooper said. “It's not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation.”
House Bill 2 was approved last year during a one-day special session. It blocks cities from enacting LGBT protections and prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice.
According to a statement issued by Republican leaders, the compromise bill would repeal House Bill 2, but it would also leave bathroom regulation to the state and enact a moratorium on LGBT ordinances until December 1, 2020.
Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, said that the deal would “continue to actively discriminate against the LGBT community.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) tweeted its opposition, calling the proposal a “bad deal that does not actually #RepealHB2. Instead it doubles-down on discrimination.”
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
The bulk of the cuts are proposed to the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which was set up by former President George W Bush to tackle the AIDS crisis, and is one of the largest providers of funding for global projects battling the spread of HIV/AIDS.
White House budget documents supplied to Congress and published by Politico this week reveal that Trump and Pence are planning to slash $242 million from the PEPFAR budget.
The White House claims the cuts will “maintain current commitments” and that the savings will come from ending “less effective HIV research and prevention activities”, but activists say the cuts will cripple global attempts to eradicate AIDS.
The budget document claims: “This reduction would achieve savings by requiring PEPFAR to begin slowing the rate of new patients on treatment in FY 17, by reducing support to low-performing countries, by reducing lower-priority prevention programs, or by identifying new efficiencies or other savings.”
Further cuts of $50 million are also set out in the document for the domestic HIV/AIDS budget, with an equal $50 million cut from the CDC’s Global HIV/AIDS program, despite previous assurances that HIV/AIDS budgets would be protected.
The document claims: “This reduction would eliminate less effective HIV research and prevention activities and accelerate reductions proposed in FY 2018.”
US government projects including PEPFAR have previously been credited with helping bring the global AIDS crisis under control, halving the death rate in countries where it is active within just five years.
The proposed cuts to PEPFAR come despite Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson describing it as “one of the most extraordinarily successful programs” during his confirmation hearing.
The billionaire had claimed: “I saw it up close and personal, and I know that PEPFAR has broadly brought so much goodwill from Africa, recognition of the goodwill and the compassionate nature of the American people.
“[PEPFAR] is one of the best projections of compassion into the continent that I think that you will ever find, and it is broadly recognized by the leaders, and more importantly, recognized by those who it touches.”
President Obama previously warned about the importance of maintaining funding for HIV/AIDS projects.
In a World AIDS Day message ,the outgoing President said: “We need to do more to reach those who are at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, and the United States is helping shape the world’s response to this crisis and working alongside the international community to end this epidemic by 2030.
“We have strengthened and expanded the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), with now more than $70 billion invested, to accelerate our progress and work to control this epidemic with comprehensive and data-focused efforts.
“With PEPFAR support for more than 11 million people on life-saving treatment and through contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria — including a new pledge of more than $4 billion through 2019 — there are now more than 18 million people getting HIV treatment and care.
“Because in sub-Saharan Africa young women and adolescent girls are over eight times more likely to get HIV/AIDS than young men, we launched a comprehensive prevention program to reduce HIV infections among this population in 10 sub-Saharan African countries.
“We have also helped prevent millions of new infections worldwide, including in more than 1.5 million babies of HIV-positive mothers who were born free of HIV.”
He warned: “Although we have come far in recent decades, our work is not yet done and the urgency to intervene in this epidemic is critical… accelerating the progress we have made will require sustained commitment and passion from every sector of society and across every level of government around the world.”
When it comes to controversial policies on HIV, Vice President Mike Pence has plenty of prior experience.
As Governor of Indiana, Pence stood in the way of expanding HIV services and preventative measures like needle exchanges – until he was forced to declare a public health emergency due to a sharp rise in transmissions.
Pence famously once suggested that HIV prevention funding be drained in order to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy.
On a 2000 Congressional campaign website, Pence wrote: “Congress should support the reauthorization of the [HIV funding] Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
Trump Begins His Assault On Gay US Citizens, Repeals Anti-discrimination Protections For Gay Fed Workers And Contractors.
Less than two months after directly promising he would not repeal Obama’s discrimination protections for LGBT workers, Donald Trump has quietly revoked part of Obama’s discrimination protections for LGBT workers.
Barack Obama signed a series of executive orders in 2014 ensuring that employees of federal contractors are protected by LGBT anti-discrimination legislation, after Republicans in Congress shot down legislation on the issue.
An official White House statement on January 31 pledged: “President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.”
Less than two months later, however, Trump has already slid back on the promise, today officially revoking the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order that was a key part of protecting LGBT workers.
The order required companies that want to do business with the federal government to disclose whether they have been liable for discriminating against people, including against LGBT people.
The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order is technically distinct from the Executive Order on LGBTQ workplace protections, but the two orders were intended to supplement each other on issues of discrimination. LGBT rights experts say that by repealing the order, Trump has created a loophole that makes it difficult to enforce any decision against an anti-LGBT company.
Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven said: “This sends a message that the government condones discrimination. Scrapping an order like this one is different than not adopting one.
“It’s not surprising given Donald Trump’s sordid history with women that this administration is allowing companies to hide sex discrimination – including sexual harassment.
“Furthermore, this administration is inviting businesses to the table that violate equal pay and fair wage laws, ignore laws requiring family medical leave, or target employees for discrimination based on race, sex, gender identity, gender non-conformity (including being gay or lesbian), disability (including HIV), and numerous other grounds.
“All of these things violate the law. Companies that flout the law should be sued – not invited to win our tax dollars.
“The Trump/Pence administration is depriving the people of a valuable enforcement tool. Employees of federal contractors should know their rights, and contact us if they are discriminated against.
“Lambda Legal will sue to enforce the federal laws that protect to LGBT employees and employees living with HIV.”
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s main election rivals are set to publish draft proposals on same-sex marriage.
At present, Germany is governed via a Grand Coalition comprised of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Angela Merkel’s right-wing Christian Democratic Union (CDU), along with the Christian Social Union in Bavaria.
Though same-sex couples are permitted to enter unions in the country, the government has ruled out any progress on equal marriage due to a strict coalition agreement.
However, the SPD – who are gaining on Merkel’s CDU in the polls ahead of September’s federal elections – are now challenging their coalition partners on the issue.
German newspaper Funke Mediengruppe reports that the SPD has drawn up a draft bill on the issue and officials are planning to raise it with Merkel’s party at this week’s Coalition meeting.
According to The Local, SPD Bundestag leader Thomas Oppermann said: “In the future, marriage should be possible as well for same-sex couples.
“I hope that the CDU and CSU can finally change their spots.”
The issue is likely to be a key dividing line between the Coalition parties.
Ahead of the election, Merkel will be keen not to alienate her traditional right-wing voter base, which is already under pressure from the far-right AfD over her refugee policies. But she will also want to win over center-ground voters who are supporting the SPD in greater numbers.
Chancellor Merkel has repeatedly ruled out calls to introduce equal marriage, saying: “For me, marriage is a man and a woman living together.”
The upper house of the German Parliament has previously passed symbolic motions calling for same-sex marriage.
Unlike the Bundestag (main chamber of the German Parliament), where Chancellor Merkel’s Grand Coalition holds control, the Bundesrat (equivalent to the Upper House/Senate) is controlled by the 16 state governments, with a left-wing majority.
A coalition of the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left backed a bill in the Bundesrat that would recognize unions between same-sex couples, despite Chancellor Merkel’s insistence it is between a man and a woman.
However, no legislation is likely to pass the Bundestag without the government’s blessing
Germany allows same-sex couples to enter into registered life partnerships that provide some of the benefits of marriage – but the CDU and CSU continues to oppose same-sex marriage.
Married, Closeted, Republican State Senator Enters Not Guilty Plea After Failed Attempt To Molest Teen Boy
Former Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey and a male teen texted about having bareback sex before the disgraced lawmaker’s arrest, according to an affidavit.
Shortey resigned from office last week after being charged with engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution. He said his resignation ‘is evidence of my respect for public service and the duties of our elected officials.’
He was found in a Super 8 motel room with a teenaged boy after allegedly offering him money for ‘sexual stuff.’
The text messages reveal the lurid exchanges between Shortey and the teen leading up to their meeting.
At one point the teen texted: ‘Hey keep updated cause I want you bad daddy.’ To that Shortey replied: ‘I’m gonna fuck you like a good little boy if you keep calling me daddy.’
When the teen referred to bareback sex and his ‘man pussy,’ Shortey replied with this correction: ‘Boy pussy, baby boy.’
Shortey, 35, was part of the leadership of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in the state. He is married with four children.
Shortey was arraigned in court on Friday (24 March) and has entered a not guilty plea. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of all charges, according to kfor.com.